Disproving the lie that Israel is a racist, apartheid state, Israeli-Arab Christian and Muslim girls are joining the IDF in increasing numbers, wanting to serve their country in a meaningful way.
“Young Muslim girls are joining the fight, on Israel’s side,” journalist David Lazarus wrote in the daily Israel Hayom. “These courageous young women have a unique and important story to tell, and together with a growing number of Christian Arab girls, they are breaking new ground joining ranks with the Israeli army.”
According to Lazarus’ report, these patriotic Arab-Israeli soldiers who are joining the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) include young women from both supportive and non-supportive families. Many had lived happily in Jewish neighborhoods and now wish to serve their country, just as their friends are doing.
One girl, Private ‘A’, a Muslim, is especially challenged. Her parents opposed her choice to serve in the IDF and are refusing to support her in any way, including financially.
“It’s really difficult, even with the help I get from the army,” she conceded. “It is rare for a Muslim girl to join the army, because our families will not accept it. Even so, I would still recommend others to enlist. It is a great, life-changing experience.”
Private ‘G’, a devout Muslim, enjoys family support for her decision. Indeed, her mother said that she, too, would have enlisted if it had been possible when she was younger.
“I have never been ashamed of my [Muslim] faith, not even in the army,” said Private ‘S’. “I wanted to enlist because it is my duty to serve and protect my country. I want to serve in a way that makes a significant contribution.”
She faces no difficulties practicing her religion while serving. “They allow me to go home during the Muslim Ramadan fast, once a week to be with my family,” she explained.
Corporal ‘M’, a Christian Arab serving in a sensitive operational unit, overcame social challenges in her home community. After enlisting, she said, “I was walking around the [Arab] neighborhood where I live in uniform. When people saw me they deleted me from their Facebook and erased my number from their telephone. It was very hard, but a few friends still supported me, and I have made a lot of new friends in the army.”
Political activist Anett Haskia, who hails from the northern Israeli city of Akko, identifies as an Arab Muslim Zionist. All three of her children, including her daughter, served in the IDF.
Monaliza Abdo, a Christian Arab-Israeli from Haifa, was featured in 2013 in an IDF blog about women in the Israeli military who had “shattered barriers.” Her job in the army was to help prevent terror attacks, smuggling operations and illegal entry into the country.
“I joined the IDF because I am an inseparable part of Israel,” she stated. “I keep the country safe – not only for the Jews, but for the Arabs too. I would sacrifice my life for the State of Israel and all of its citizens.”
By: United with Israel Staff
(With files from Israel Hayom)
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